Tuesday, February 17th, 2009
By William Kincaid
Capital projects could cost $8.47 million
  Celina City Council members learned 2009 may be an expensive year for the city as scheduled capital projects are expected to cost $8.47 million.
In the coming weeks, council members must determine whether to pursue all of the projects and how much money to borrow on the open market, which councilman Rick Bachelor said could be as much as $3.5 million.
"We've got some work to do," Celina Planning and Community Development Director Kent Bryan said on Monday night during a city council meeting.
Many of the projects may be funded with money from the city's general fund, utilities accounts and tax increment finance (TIF) districts, as well as a combination of state grants and low interest loans.
Some of the scheduled projects include the following:
• The $2.135 million Buckeye Street storm sewer project, which will double the current storm sewer's capacity. The project also includes paving the street.
During moderate to heavy rains, there is a significant amount of flooding on both sides of Buckeye Street. An additional 24-inch storm line will run from Myers Road to Market Street and connect into an existing storm line.
"Obviously this one has been in the works for a while," Bryan said, adding that he hopes to see a project bid awarded by May.
• The $1.05 million Johnson Avenue reconstruction project from Main to Holly streets. Initially, city officials only intended to replace the 1954 Kessler lift station for $370,000. After additional research, they decided to replace a substantial water main and install larger storm drain lines. The city also plans on installing new curbs and gutters.
The lift station, which has faulty pumps and mechanical parts, will be replaced and installed near the street as opposed to 140 feet from the street. The city then will be able to maintain the new lift station without going into residents' yards.
Each lift station is supposed to be repaired every 10 years and replaced every 50 years, Bryan said. The water main to be replaced is a 12-inch line dating back to the '60s. The large storm drainage lines to be replaced should help with flooding problems at Maple Street, Linden Avenue and Willow Street, city officials say.
"It's more for protection of people's basements - personal property," Bryan said on Monday night.
• A $670,000 project to widen a half mile stretch of state Route 29 west near Celina Tent. The project should be started this summer, Bryan said.
"It's a real safety issue for us," he added.
The project also will include a new storm line and storm drains and adding sidewalks, curbs, gutters and a center turning lane.
The project is related to the expansion of Celina Tent, which a few years ago landed a large federal government contract.
Increased truck traffic has made an already congested area even worse, city officials said. Celina City Schools officials also favored widening the road, which would benefit West Elementary School and the district's bus garage on Logan Street.
The project calls for the widening of the road from 24 feet to 40 feet and creating a center turning lane. Sidewalks, curbs and gutters will be installed on both sides of the road from Portland Street to Meyer Road.
• A $617,092 downtown building restoration project. Celina has been awarded a highly competitive $400,000 state grant for downtown building improvements.
Downtown property owners will be eligible to use portions of the grant money and their own matching money to make physical improvements to the front of buildings and to make code improvements, such as structural, mechanical and roofing projects, Bryan said.
The money also can be used for public infrastructure, Bryan said.
• New restroom facilities at Eastview Park for $350,000 and a new restroom and maintenance building at Lake Shore Park for $240,000.
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